With two major international tournaments taking place this summer, we were expecting quite a few Liverpool players to return to Merseyside feeling rather drained.
There were eight Reds (seven after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury) set to be involved at Euro 2020.
There were also three Liverpool stars in the Brazil squad for the Copa America.
After a gruelling season, the last thing that these players needed was an intense summer tournament.
But what can you do, it is the same for everyone.
Considering that Liverpool are one of the best teams in the world and the players involved are some of the best in the world, we fully expected the majority of them to be playing key roles for their country.
Yet that was not the case.
The only three Reds that were regular starters this summer were Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri.
While Jordan Henderson was recovering from injury, we thought that he would be a guaranteed starter once he got to 100%. Yet he now looks fully fit, but still has not started a game for England in the lead up to tonight’s Euros final.
The case of Thiago and Spain is almost unbelievable. He is one of the finest midfielders on earth, yet couldn’t buy a game for La Furia Roja.
The two Wales boys, Neco Williams and Harry Wilson, had to settle for roles as super subs.
Meanwhile, Brazil bizarrely snubbed Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino for the majority of games at the Copa America, including the final.
So, what effect will the Liverpool players’ summer exploits really have on them?
Liverpool stars had a busy summer with little to show for it
Footballers dream of being involved in international tournaments. It is a huge honour to be selected for your country to play in a major competition.
Yet it is less exciting when you are not a key part of the team that you are with.
On the face of things, it is good for Liverpool that their players did not exhaust themselves this summer.
Fewer minutes in the legs means less chance of a burnout next season.
Alexander-Arnold aside, nobody suffered any injuries. And even at that, the Scouser is still ready to start pre-season on Monday.
So yes, it could be worse from that standpoint.
But at the same time, the players are all missing out on a proper pre-season. And considering that they played very little football this summer, it is almost not worth it.
They still need their holiday. They still need to switch off mentally.
It has turned into a catch 22 situation.
Considering that they are going to miss a lot of pre-season anyway, they may as well have played all the games and enjoyed their summer as a key player for their country.
But as it turned out, they got neither.
They spent up to over six weeks away from their families. They miss out on a crucial pre-season, and perhaps even the first league game of the campaign.
And for what?
Those three regular starters and Jordan Henderson aside, it was a complete waste of time.
Let’s just hope that it doesn’t hinder the team in 2021/22.